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The World in Medicine
August 19, 2009

Circumcision and HIV Risk

JAMA. 2009;302(7):732. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1160

Although observational studies have shown that male circumcision can reduce a man's risk of acquiring HIV infection by 50% to 60%, it does not decrease HIV transmission from a man to female partners, report US and Ugandan researchers (Wawer MJ et al. Lancet. 2009;374[9685]:229-237).

In the trial, which took placed in the Rakai District of Uganda, the researchers enrolled 922 uncircumcised, HIV-infected, asymptomatic men aged 15 to 49 years with CD4 cell counts of at least 350/μL. The men were randomly assigned to undergo circumcision immediately (474 men) or 24 months later (448 men, who served as controls). In addition, 163 uninfected female partners were also enrolled (93 in the intervention group and 70 in the control group) and were followed up at 6, 12, and 24 months. All participants received information on HIV prevention, including consistent condom use.

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